Michigan experiences 4 tornadoes on the 60th anniversary of its second-deadliest twister

Severe storms wreaked havoc in Southwest Michigan this week, with four tornadoes being confirmed to have touched down.

It was a strange coincidence: The tornadoes wreaked havoc in Kalamazoo County nearly six decades after Michigan experienced its second-deadliest tornado.

On Tuesday, May 7, a series of powerful tornadoes ripped through the Kalamazoo County area, leaving a trail of destruction in the city of Portage. Numerous structures and homes suffered extensive damage, prompting the declaration of a state of emergency in multiple counties, including Portage itself.

The tornadoes did not result in any casualties, although there were reports of minor injuries that were deemed non-life threatening by local authorities.

Update on Major Damage, Outages, Traffic Issues in Michigan City Hit by Tornado

A devastating tornado has caused significant damage, power outages, and traffic issues in a city in Michigan. The severe weather event swept through the area, leaving destruction in its wake. Local authorities are currently assessing the extent of the damage and working to restore essential services to affected residents.

On May 8, 1964, a devastating tornado struck Chesterfield Township and New Baltimore in Macomb County, resulting in the loss of 13 lives and causing injuries to hundreds of individuals.

On that day, 4Warn Meteorologist Emeritus Paul Gross provides a detailed account of what transpired.

On May 8, 1964, a tornado watch was in effect. However, the tornado warning was issued too late for many individuals. The tornado touched down and expanded to a diameter of 800 yards, with wind speeds ranging from 166 to 200 mph.

According to the National Weather Service, multiple people who witnessed the event have recounted that the tornado commenced near the intersection of I-94 and 21 Mile Road at 4:59 p.m. From there, it followed the path along Jefferson Road and grazed Harbor Drive before eventually moving off land into Anchor Bay in Lake St. Clair.

According to Tom Grazulis in “The Tornado Project,” the twister made landfall in the Cape Heart housing area, causing severe destruction to numerous homes. It then proceeded to the Forbes residential area, where eyewitness accounts describe homes being demolished and cars being flung for hundreds of feet, resulting in collisions with houses.

Around 132 homes were destroyed, with an additional 200 being damaged.

The tornado claimed the lives of 13 individuals and left 200 to 400 people injured. The proximity of the bay-area homes to the water contributed to the high number of casualties. Since the water table is higher in this area, fewer residents had the opportunity to construct basements in their homes.

The tornado inflicted $3 million worth of damage in 1964, which, taking inflation into account, amounts to approximately $30.3 million in 2024.

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